Stonehill Promotes Wilson to Women’s Soccer Head Coach

2008 Stonehill graduate takes program reigns after serving as assistant in 2012

EASTON, Mass. (June 28, 2013) – Stonehill College announces the promotion of assistant coach and former Skyhawks standout Alexandra (Eckhardt) Wilson, '08, to head coach of the women's soccer program. The announcement was made today by Brendan J. Sullivan, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at the College.

"I am excited to announce Alexandra Wilson as our next women's soccer head coach at Stonehill," said Sullivan. "Alex is a dedicated and talented coach who has clearly demonstrated her intellect for the game, her passion for the College, and her desire to elevate the program to the next level. As a graduate of Stonehill, I believe she serves as a great steward for the women's soccer program and will be a tremendous mentor, teacher and role model for our student-athletes, both now and in the future. I firmly believe the program is in great hands and will soar to new heights under her direction."

Wilson, who takes over for Rolando Lopes who compiled a 61-58-23 (.511) record over eight seasons, served as an assistant coach upon her return to Stonehill last summer during the 2012 season. Stonehill posted a 6-5-6 overall record last fall, missing out on a spot in the NE-10 Tournament by just a single point with its 5-5-5 Conference mark putting the Skyhawks in ninth place. Three of the Skyhawks five losses were by just one goal and the team played nine overtime matches, posting four scoreless double-overtime draws.

As goalkeeper coach, Wilson mentored rising senior Amy Wheaton (Dartmouth, Mass./Dartmouth) who was named the Northeast-10 Conference's Goalkeeper of the Year and collected honorable mention All-America honors from Daktronics as the Stonehill defense that set a new single-season program record for fewest goals allowed with 12, ranking second in the NE-10 for team goals against average (0.65) and fourth in shutouts (8).

"I want to thank Brendan Sullivan and the entire athletic department for this opportunity to lead the women's soccer program at Stonehill," said Wilson. "I'm excited to return to my alma mater and lead the Skyhawks to success on and off the field. Stonehill provided me the opportunity to experience Division II women's soccer at its finest and I intend to bring that to our current and future women's soccer student-athletes"

Wilson was a four year goalkeeper for Stonehill from 2004-07, earning All-Northeast-10 honors and NEWISA All-Star status.

Prior to returning to her alma mater, Wilson spent four seasons as an assistant coach at NE-10 rival Franklin Pierce University serving as the top assistant and goalkeeper coach the latter two years. She assisted head coach Jeff Bailey is all aspects of team operations, with specific concentration on the goalkeepers, defense, weight and fitness training and scheduling. Wilson helped with the Ravens recruiting efforts at the regional and international levels and helped guide the program to three NCAA Tournament bids and a share of the 2008 NE-10 regular season championship.

In addition to her coaching duties with the women's soccer program at Franklin Pierce, Wilson gained head coaching experience with the University's men's and women's tennis programs for two seasons. The women's team earned the NE-10's Team Academic Excellence Award for the highest grade point average in the Conference following the 2011-12 season, while the men's team held the highest team GPA among male athletic teams at the University that year and also earned the program's highest win total since 2004.

Wilson was a four-year standout at Stonehill who captained the women's soccer team twice during her collegiate playing career from 2004-07 and earned All-Northeast-10 second team honors as a senior and was a two-time NE-10 Academic All-Conference selection. Wilson also collected two New England Women's Intercollegiate Soccer Association (NEWISA) All-New England awards over her career. Her 15 career shutouts are tied for fourth all-time in program history, while her 1.00 career goals against average is good for second all-time. She also shares the program record for consecutive clean sheets with four in 2006.

Wilson continues an active playing career with Classic Crush of the Eastern Massachusetts Women's Soccer League (EMWSL). She holds an NSCAA Goalkeeping Level I Diploma and is an ACSM certified personal trainer. Wilson earned her Bachelor's Degree in communication from Stonehill, with a minor in environmental studies, in 2008 and her Master's in sports facilities management from Franklin Pierce in 2010.

Along with her coaching duties at Stonehill, Wilson will continue to serve as the Athletic Clinic Coordinator at the College overseeing all the duties and functions of Stonehill Sports Camps.

Stonehill will open its 2013 season on Friday, September 6, for day one of the inaugural Catholic Cup against host Saint Michael's College at 2 p.m. The Skyhawks first home match is slated for Sunday, September 8, when they host Felician College at 1 p.m.

Stonehill captured the Northeast-10 Conference Presidents' Cup for the third-straight year and fourth time overall at the conclusion of the 2011-12 academic year, Stonehill finished ranked 68th in the final Learfield Sports Directors Cup standings which recognizes overall athletic achievement in NCAA championships. Stonehill has received the NCAA Division II Presidents' Award for Academic Achievement each of the first two years if the program's existence of honoring programs with an Academic Success Rate (ASR) of 90-percent or better. The athletics program is also ranked sixth in the National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) Power Rankings used to assess the academic and athletic standards of all NCAA and NAIA athletic programs, marking a fourth straight top ten placement.

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